Web Series Wednesday: Everything’s Going To Be Fine

Written, directed & produced by Mark Day and Heather Joan Day
Starring Tanya Alers, Emily Renna, Stefan Miranda, Sean Miranda, Erina Yamada, Nick Jaquinot and Ellen Grimshaw
Production Company Vivienne Productions
Digital Platform YouTube

Everything’s Going To Be Fine is an intimate story about two young Melbournians struggling to communicate that they’re not doing okay.
Will and Claudia, attempt to reconnect despite their baggage with their past relationship in high school, passive aggressive housemates, flirty co-workers, and shitty dudes from dating apps.

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This article has been provided by the series creators. It has been published in Q&A format at their request.

Tanya Alers and Stefan Miranda in Everything’s Going To Be Fine.

What inspired you to make this web series?

We both have really important people in our lives who’ve helped us through some of our worst times. We wanted to make a show about how hard it can be to find those people.

How are these people represented in the show?

While the characters are fictional, we had this rule when writing together that whatever happened had to have happened to us or someone we know. This was a way of making the characters and what they are going through feel real and grounded.

In terms of story but also atmosphere we’re really inspired by films and shows that explore the specificity of intimate relationships. Filmmakers like Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird), Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha, Mistress America), Donald Glover (Atlanta) and there’s this great web series that got picked up by HBO, High Maintenance, made by Ben Sinclair and Katja Blichfeld. The people they’re depicting feel complex and deeply flawed and their storytelling often allows you to see multiple sides to conflicts between their characters.

These are the things we emphasised in our writing and filming process. In rehearsals we collaborated a lot with our actors, who brought some of their own experiences into the story. We shot in real environments often with wide lenses and fluid camera movements to help make the audience feel physically close to our characters and their emotions.

Tanya Alers in Everything’s Going To Be Fine.

The cast is quite racially diverse. Was this important to you?

It was important to us because we’re mixed race and our friends are from a vareity of different ethnic backgrounds. Australian media and culture still feels very white-centric and the TV we grew up with just didn’t represent our experiences. That’s one of the benefits of being able to create our own web series. Online mediums are allowing more diverse groups of people to voice their own stories. Race doesn’t define our characters, but it does add to the feelings of alienation that anyone who doesn’t fit into sociatal norms can feel.

We cast a combination of professional actors and non-actors, which is a technique recently used by Andrea Arnold (American Honey) and Sean Baker (Florida Project, Tangerine) and historically used by Neo-Realists like Roberto Rossellini (Rome Open City) and Jean Luc Goddard (Breathless). The interactions between our brilliant actors and non-actors helped add some truth and levity to the story, because we cast them based on their chemistry and sometimes real life experiences.

We had a really good moment with two of our cast Sean Miranda and Ellen Grimshaw in the last scene we shot for the series where they improvised a lot of pillow talk for episode 5. Pillow talk is really intimate and usually pretty silly and both of them were able to capture that feeling so clearly despite having  the camera right next to their faces and a dozen crew in the room.

Sean Miranda and Ellen Grimshaw in Everything’s Going To Be Fine.

What was it like writing, producing, directing, editing, and composing together as siblings?

It was challenging wearing all those hats but because we’re siblings we really trust each other and know how to compliment each others strengths and weaknesses. On set we developed silent signals to tell each other if we liked a take or performance without distracting the actors. In two handed scenes it was really helpful as we could split up and give each actor equal attention and separate goals to build more conflict and spontaneity in the scenes.

We’ve been making music together since we were teenagers and we’ve played in bands of so many different genres that being able to bring all of that into this soundtrack made it really special for us. The soundtrack was inspired by acts like Tame Impala, The Kills, Frank Ocean, Stephan Bodzin, and the Horrors.

The show is such a labour of love and even though we had a brilliant community around us during shooting, when it was just the two of us in post production, editing and composing, it was really good to have someone to bounce ideas off who’d been there from the beginning.
We’re really excited for people to watch the show and we hope that it can make them feel less alone or understand the journey of someone around them.

Emily Renna in Everything’s Going to be Fine.

You can watch all episodes on Everything’s Going To Be Fine here. Follow Everything’s Going To Be Fine on Facebook here. Follow Everything’s Going To Be Fine on Instagram here

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